Medicaid Feels Pinch of Economy

More than half the states are reducing Medicaid services and payments to health care provider this year as the recession propelled enrollments to record levels and sapped money from treasuries.  Many states are threatening bigger cuts starting in July unless Congress extends a higher federal contribution incuded in last year’s $862 billion economic stimulus law. Some of those custs would make it harder to low-income people to qualify.

California plans to close adult day health care centers next month. Nevada is cutting coverage for eye glasses, dentures and hearing aids.

Medicaid enrollment rose by 3.3 million people or 7.5% in the 12 month period ending June 2009 for example. Enrollments rose in every state for the first time since the early 1990’s. Medicaid, on average, 21% of state budgets, equal to education, and is expected to increase even more as the recession continues.

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